Fighting Continues in Parts of Libyan Capital as UN Urges Calm

CAIRO, The U.S. Embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli is denying earlier reports its buildings had caught fire, as fighting raged in southern districts of the city. Libyan officials say 50 people have died in more than a week of fighting.

The United Nations continued to urge warring militias to lay down their arms, as fighting raged along the old airport road south of the Libyan capital Tripoli.

A fire broke out in the vicinity of the unoccupied U.S. Embassy compound along the road, but the embassy indicated on its Twitter account its buildings were not hit. The Libya Observer showed a picture of black smoke billowing into the air not far from the embassy, while some reports claimed a fuel depot had caught fire.

Libya's so-called Seventh Brigade from the town of Tarhouna insisted it had gained control of the road, but other sources disputed that claim. Heavy fighting has been centered around the strategic Yarmouk military camp in recent days.

A civil society activist who lives along the road, Muhanned Kalash, told VOA via Twitter he had seen anti-aircraft fire and could hear automatic weapons and tank shells exploding. He said that he had taken shelter in a basement.

U.N. Special Envoy Ghassan Salame invited the warring factions to take part in talks Tuesday at an undisclosed location, but it was not clear if the parties had reached any agreement.

The United Nations has also urged the warring factions to "avoid indiscriminate attacks" and not to target "migrants and internally displaced people."

Source: Voice of America